House of Pleasures (2011) - Rotten Tomatoes

House of Pleasures (2011)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In this lush, atmospheric look at the final days of an elegant, turn-of-the-century brothel, we go inside the cloistered walls of L'Apollonide to meet the Madam (Noemie Lvovsky), her elite clientele, and some dozen "girls" - veterans and newcomers, romantics and cynics, schemers and innocents. Upending the period drama with split screens, time shifts and a modern soundtrack, this is a provocative and beautiful film about the world's oldest profession - and an exploration of how the past is remembered. -- (C) Sundance Selects

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Cast

Alice Barnole
as Madeleine
Noémie Lvovsky
as Marie-France
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Critic Reviews for House of Pleasures

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (13)

Nothing in this film comes as a surprise, but Bonello's intent to show the place backstage as well as onstage is fulfilled and pertinent, even though the period setting gives the picture a curio air.

Full Review… | June 19, 2013
The New Republic
Top Critic

It's about forcing us to think about people we never would otherwise and seeing their struggles and humanity.

Full Review… | March 29, 2012
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

What gives the film its haunting pull, as well as its feminist undercurrent, is the filmmaker's palpable compassion for these women.

Full Review… | March 7, 2012
The Atlantic
Top Critic

No one, male or female, has any fun, but the men behave as if they do. They are all half-stupefied by the languor in which they drown.

Full Review… | February 9, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

It emphasizes setting over character and plot; and it casts a mood that's both eerie and entrancing.

Full Review… | February 9, 2012
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Seductive on the surface, steely underneath, this is an angry, fascinating, highly political film all wrapped up in costumed frilliness.

Full Review… | January 24, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for House of Pleasures

½

A sad film about a group of prostitutes in a Parisian brothel at the end of the 19th century, with a very fluid narrative and a beautiful production design (and cinematography) that explores quite efficiently the gloomy romantic view of being a woman submissive to men and their pleasure.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Disturbing in parts but nonetheless, this look into a turn of the century brothel has compelling gals who perform the same tasks but are from so many diverse and interesting backgrounds.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Dreamy drama following the travails of a group of prostitutes in a belle epoque bordello. It's slow, extremely sad (the main character is permanently disfigured by one of her clients) and features some unsuccessful stylistic gambles (a montage set to "Nights in White Satin"), but it's also a beautiful-looking, elegant and moving film with believably scarred characters.

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer

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